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Family violence in gambling help-seeking populations
journal contributionposted on 2018-09-02, 00:00 authored by K Palmer du Preez, M Bellringer, J Pearson, Nicki DowlingNicki Dowling, A Suomi, J Koziol-Mclain, D Wilson, A Jackson
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Elevated rates of family violence among treatment-seeking problem gamblers compared to general population estimates have been reported in Spain, Canada and Australia. This study examined the occurrence of family violence among 454 problem gambling help-seeking clients (370 gamblers, 84 affected others) recruited through 3 national gambling treatment services in New Zealand. Measures used were the Problem Gambling Severity Index, and a modified version of the HITS Scale which assessed physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. Past-year family violence among gamblers in this sample was 46.8% for victimization, 41.2% for perpetration and 55.0% for any form of family violence. Among affected others the occurrence was 65.5% for victimization, 57.1% for perpetration and 71.4% for any form of violence. The most common type of violence was verbal intimate partner violence. Affected others and women gamblers reported higher rates of violence victimization and perpetration. These findings underscore the importance of screening gambling help-seeking clients for family violence, and the development of prevention and treatment programmes to address violence in this population, with particular attention to affected others and women gamblers. Future research should assess coercive control and the gendered nature of family violence among problem gambling help-seekers.